Monster Hunter World is the most accessible entry point yet for Capcom's colossally successful action role-playing series, with the series making a big-budget leap to PS4, Xbox One and PC.
But accessibility doesn't mean it has skimped on depth. This is still a vast, detailed and initially overwhelming game, and though the beta holds back on some of the nuance of loot collecting and crafting, getting your head around the quest structure might take a little time.
This Monster Hunter World beta guide can help you understand the game better, and take down all three of the bests to unlock those unique beta rewards.
Monster Hunter World third beta end date and time
Following a PlayStation Plus-only beta that previously ended on December 12 and second on December 22 and Tuesday, December 26, we have a third and final PS4 beta before release.
It takes place between January 19 and January 22, starting and ending at the following times:
- UK: 2am (GMT)
- Europe: 3am (CET)
- East Coast US: 9pm (EDT)
- West Coast US: 6pm (PST)
Monster Hunter World beta rewards
For playing the first beta, you could receive several exclusive rewards for the final game. These are:
- Face Paint - complete any of the three quests.
- Beginner, Intermediate, Expecrt Commendation Pack (including lifepowder, max potions, shock traps and more) - complete each of the three quests for the first time:
It's assumed that, since the client is the same for the second beta, the rewards will be too.
How do you play Monster Hunter World if you've never played a Monster Hunter game before?
Monster Hunter is an action role-playing game (RPG), and as the name suggests the core of the game revolves around hunting monsters - large, ferocious beasts that roam the world causing havoc.
As you progress through the game you will be assigned specific targets that you need to track down, but along the way you can take on other prey to collect loot and supplies that can be used to upgrade your weapons and armour to make it easier to take down your quarry.
Unlike most RPGs your character has no stats to call their own, and it's all about crafting better gear; if you've ever played Destiny you can think of Monster Hunter being like the endgame, a constant cycle of gear acquisition to let you take on stronger enemies to get better gear to take on stronger enemies.
For the purposes of the beta the loot gathering/upgrading cycle is missing - you start each quest as a blank slate so collecting materials serves no purpose - and the time limits for each quest are shorter than we're used to, further focussing the action on your primary target.
As a result we'd recommend playing each quest in two ways: first, kill your designated quarry to unlock a bonus that will be available should you decide to purchase the full game, and then revisit the quest and do a bit of exploration just to get a feel for it.
Once a quest has started you'll be given a general area to look for the monster's trail, and searching that area will reveal footprints or other evidence of its passing.
Once a clue has been located your scoutflies will seek out the next clue, and following the trail will eventually lead you to the monster you've been tasked to kill; under normal circumstances you'd want to stop along the way and take out lesser beasts but, as noted above, anything you gather will be wiped out at the end of the quest and your time is limited.
Unless you get lucky, most fights with your prey will be quite lengthy affairs. After taking a chunk of damage the monster will flee, so you'll need to follow it to its new location. You can deal some damage along the way, but it's generally a better strategy to just let it get to where it's going before attacking again - attacking it will slow you down and you're unlikely to be able to do a significant amount of damage to it.
Once the monster reaches its lair it'll stay put, but it generally gets a home advantage of some sort so defeating it in the first two encounters is advantageous.
Like Pokémon, if you're defeated in battle you don't die, you just need to have a bit of a lie down, and you will respawn at the nearest camp. Once you wake up follow the trail to resume the fighting - the scoutflies will generally know a shortcut. The beta provides you with nine continues per quest before needing to restart, but this limit will likely vary by quest in the finished product.
Once your foe is vanquished you have a brief window to loot it for parts (again, this serves no purpose in the beta, but it's a good habit to get in to) before being returned to the hub.
What is in the beta?
The quests take place in two different regions: Great Devourer and The Ancient Forest Menace take place in the Ancient Forest, a mixture of small open areas, caves, and a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. Wildspire Rampage is set in the rocky deserts of Wildspire Waste - it's a much more open area, but some of the steeply sloping terrain can make for tricky fights.
There are a total of four monsters in the upcoming beta, as well as smaller creatures:
- Great Jagras, Barroth and Anjanath
- Nergigante (exclusive to third beta)
- Smaller creatures Diablos and Rathalos
These all start at camp with you being given some basic details about your quarry - roughly where you need to look, and what you need to look for. You can fast travel back to camp at any time and use the tent to adjust your loadout, but the camp's other features - the canteen and crafting - are non-functional in the beta. Once you've been given your orders, it's time to head out.
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Once you reach the designated area be on the lookout for signs of your quarry - keep an eye on the cloud of glowing scoutflies as you search as they'll mark out things of interest when they're in range. The more clues you find the greater their search area, so it's worth examining everything even if you're already on the scent.
Monster Hunter World tips
Whether you're a Monster Hunter novice or are rediscovering the series after sometime, here's a few tips that may help:
- Examine all the tracks, even when you're following your prey from one fight location to another. The more you find, the more efficient your scoutflies will be at pointing you in the right direction.
- Don't be afraid to run away a bit. You'll need to heal from time to time, but whilst using a potion you're completely vulnerable so it's wise to do it well out of harm's way - it's like taking a sip from your Estus Flask in Dark Souls.
- Knowledge is Power. Use the Training Area to get a feel for how each weapon handles, learn any special attacks or combos it offers, and experiment with dodging and movement.
Making sense of the interface
As the beta doesn't really explain much, it's worth giving a brief explanation of what's going on on your HUD so you can make some sense of the visual noise.
- Health/Stamina: If your health drops to zero you'll faint, and if your stamina drops to zero you'll be pretty much immobilised, so keep an eye on your gauges and get out of trouble if they're looking a little low.
- Weapon Sharpness: (Melee weapons only.) The more you use a melee weapon, the less effective it becomes. Avoid smacking it against rocks, trees, or anything else hard! You can use your Whetstone from the radial menu to sharpen it if it's too damaged, or you can return to camp and swap it for something else.
- Charge: (Varies with weapon type.) If your weapon has elemental attacks or other special features, this gauge will display the level of charge.
- Performing regular attacks will add to the charge, and when the meter's full you can unleash it.
- Felyne Status: Shows the health and special ability status of your Felyne companion. You can't do anything about either of them so it's not entirely useful.
- Weapon Controls: Shows you what attacks are available at that precise moment. It doesn't display combos, though - those you'll have to learn for yourself.
- Activity Feed: Gives a blow-by-blow account of what's going on, showing collected items and other information as you go.
- Quick-use Item: Shows you what item you'll use by pressing Square. Cycle through your inventory with the L1 button.
- Current Target: Displays which target you're tracking, and once an enemy has been engaged it shows their health: the flatter the blue line below the icon, the closer they are to death.